Why walk the less travelled Camino to medieval Santiago? Because it’s a 150 miles of scenic beauty, heritage and nature; for its original purpose as a pilgrimage; for the achievement of a hike hiked or a myriad of other personal reasons. You’ll walk the best of the route over a week, skip the tarmac and enjoy the trail, the conversation along the way and spectacular views on your northward path. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
Our Portuguese experts, resident in the country, have cherry picked the most scenic sections for your rambling enjoyment, crossing from Porto, Northern Portugal to finish on the other side of the border, in Galicia, Spain.
In Porto, you will have time to explore and visit the Cathedral, before we transfer from Porto to Vilarinho and begin walking towards the impressive city of Barcelos.
Your second centre, Ponte de Lima, is one of the oldest towns in Portugal (circa 1125), and is historically significant as a Roman settlement. From here you’ll walk in rich farming lands where the famous vinho verde (young wine) is produced. Also this area has the largest concentration of baroque manors in Portugal.
The following day you walk from Ponte de Lima to Cabanas, leaving the fertile valley of the river Lima to climb the final range of wooded hills before Galicia. Our next section of the route is from Valenca to Porrino, detouring through the old town before crossing into Spain on the iron bridge over the River Minho. We’ll then take a bucolic path towards Porrino, before transferring to our final centre Pontevedra.
The following day we continue our journey from Calda de Reis to Padron, famous for its tasty peppers. Our final day will be spent visiting the magnificent holy city of Santiago de Compostela. Legend holds that St James’s remains were carried here for burial after arriving at Padron by boat from Jerusalem.
We fly into Porto and transfer by road to our hotel, taking approximately 30 minutes. We will have a short introductory walk in Porto, including a visit to the Cathedral where the Portuguese Way begins, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Transfer by coach to Sao Pedro de Rates from where we walk to Carvalhal. Our journey starts amidst rural lands mixed with woodland and at Barcelos we will discover the origins of the country’s famous symbol. Located on the right bank of Cávado River, the town of Barcelos combines medieval and baroque buildings. It preserves an important historical centre, dominated by the Paço dos Duques, the main church, Igreja Matriz, and the Manor House, Solar dos Pinheiros. The centre also includes the pillory and the bridge; along with the square Largo do Apoio, an area with Medieval characteristics, where the Carmonas House with its 13th century tower is located. We then pick up transport and continue to our hotel in the second centre of Ponte de Lima, where we stay for three nights' accommodation. Distance: Approx. 12km (7.5 miles), Highest Point is 350m
Today we transfer from our hotel to Vitorino dos Piaes and walk back to Ponte de Lima. A lovely stretch in the centre of a rich farming region, where the famous vinho verde (semi-sparkling young wine) is produced. The attractive rural area around has the largest concentration of baroque manors in Portugal (Bertiandos, Brandara, Calheiros, and Pomarchão are among the best known). The Ponte de Lima Roman Bridge gave its name to this very ancient and very beautiful town. One of the oldest towns in Portugal (founded on 4 March 1125). It was historically significant as a Roman settlement in the road from Braga to Santiago de Compostela. Distance: Approximately 17kms (10.5 miles), Highest Point is: 185m
Our walk takes us from Ponte de Lima to Agualonga today, with transport to bring us back to the hotel. This very pleasant walk leaves the fertile valley of the river Lima and climbs the final range of wooded hills before Galicia. Some of the path is uneven, stone tracks. Distance: Approximately 17.5kms (10.8 miles), Highest Point is 400m
Today’s beautiful walk takes us on our final miles through Portugal before crossing the border into Spain along the iron bridge over the River Minho. Transport takes us to Valenca, where we pick up the trail and walk to the village of Orbenlle. On the other side of the river, in Tui on the opposite bank of the river, we will pass by the Cathedral at the heart of the old town. Finally we’ll take a lovely bucolic path towards Orbenlle, through pleasant countryside and small villages. From here we will have a transfer to our final hotel in our last centre of Pontevedra, in Spain's Galicia region, where we stay for three nights' accommodation. Don't forget to put your watches one hour forward tonight! Enjoy a late afternoon stroll through Pontevedra before dinner. Distance: Approximately 11kms (6.8 miles), Highest Point is 85m
Transport takes us to Caldas de Reis and we start our walk along some captivating stretches of the Way, along two beautiful river valleys through which the Bermaña and the Valga rivers flow, following paths through forests and meadows. After crossing the Ulla River we arrive in Padron, where, according to legend, the boat carrying the body of the Apostle St James arrived from Jerusalem. There will be time to explore the town, and perhaps try the local speciality of Pimiento de Padron before taking the bus back to our hotel. Distance: Approximately 19.5kms (12 miles), Highest Point is 175m
Today, we reach our goal, the holy city of Santiago de Compostela (we will transfer from Pontevedra by bus). Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried here for burial after arriving at Padron by boat from Jerusalem. This is a magnificent medieval city, focused on the Plaza do Obradoiro, bordered by the Cathedral, City Hall and the Parador. After our day's visit, we will return to Pontevedra for our last night.
A leisurely breakfast and free time before we transfer back to Oporto airport (approximately 2.5hrs) for our flight back to the UK.
See where this holiday travels to.
The Hotel Império do Norte is located in Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal. WiFi is free throughout the property and free parking is available on site. The offers 46 standard rooms, 3 standard suites and 1 suite which is suitable for guests with limited mobility. All are comfortably equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TV, telephone, balcony. The rooms and suites each have a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Some units have views over Avenida dos Plátanos and the Lima River. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. There is also a bar, which serves refreshing drinks and cocktails.
The Hotel Virgen del Camino in Pontevedra is located near the centre in the Rias Baixas. The hotel owns a beautiful restaurant serving Galician dishes and great seafood. There is also a quaint little cafe and a terrace for relaxing. Each room has air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and room service.
The mythical Cinema Águia D’Ouro opens doors to a new hotel experience in downtown Oporto. In the emblematic building built in 1839, you will now find a renewed, sophisticated and welcoming space where the spirit of cinema is still alive. With the recovery of the Art Decó facade Moov Hotel Porto Centro (downtown Oporto) restores the soul and spirit of cinema to the inspiring Invicta City with the presence of several visual references. In the heart of the city, the hotel is very well located, near several underground stations which are connected to the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport and by the main accesses to downtown.
Do you enjoy sweat breaking out on your forehead and your heart racing like mad as you find yourself half suspended in the air with the few thousand meters beneath your feet? I bet you are an avid climber looking for just another dose of thrill.